How to Start a Ride

Pre-Ride Preparation

  • Arrive early to coordinate pre-ride activities.
  • Formulate your pre-ride speech ahead of time so you know what you are going to say.
  • Be sure sufficient parking is available. If necessary designate someone to direct riders as to where to park if it is not immediately apparent.
  • Be available to answer questions about the ride, mileage, food, etc.
  • Be sure maps are handed out by yourself or a designated individual. When handing out maps, ask if the rider is a member and if not get them to sign the waiver.
  • If it is not obvious that a rider will be wearing a helmet, tell them the NSC requires helmets.

Starting the Riders

Provide a pre-ride speech. This has to be short but effective. 
  1. Introduce yourself and welcome everyone in behalf of NSC.
  2. Call for non-members: "Is anyone not a member of NSC. Please come forward and sign a waiver form."
  3. Safety Talk - Reinforce safety issues. Where applicable, cite any known safety issues on the ride. Reinforce the following safe riding principals:
    • Obey all vehicle laws.
    • Pay attention to road conditions, traffic, and other riders.
    • Signal intentions verbally and with hand signals - this includes: turns, slowing, stopping, holes and other road hazards.
    • Call out "on your left" when passing - this is important to make sure the person in front does not pull out in front of passing cyclists.
  4. Ride Information - Briefly describe the ride. Remember only a few points can be retained so make them count.
    • Indicate major points of interest
    • Inidicate major problem areas with reference to mileage.
    • Indicate the mileage for splits
  5. Arrow information - hold up a sample of the arrow or point it out on the pavement so everyone will know what it looks like.

Ride Start

  • If the group is small, announce the start and let riders filter out.
  • If the group is large, stagger the start to avoid congestion. Let the faster riders start first. Allow several minutes between groups.

At the End

  • Try to account for all the riders that started by checking for empty cars in the parking area. If a rider remains out much longer than expected recruit help from other riders and backtrack the route by car. DO NOT KNOWINGLY LEAVE A RIDER STRANDED.
  • Police the area after most of the riders have returned.
  • Send filled out waiver forms to the Ride Coordinator or President.